Medical malpractice is unacceptable and terrifying in any form. But some cases are more serious than others. In fact, some cases are downright scary. We feel that the following story exemplifies this.

A 42-year-old woman recently won her lawsuit filed against a spinal surgeon for $1.2 million after she alleged that the surgeon botched her spinal surgery and only made her scoliosis worse. She went to the surgeon’s neurosurgical clinic in July 2011 hoping that the surgery would fix issues with her spine. However, in the wake of the surgery, she only suffered more pain and a spinal column that was out of position.

What was amazing about this case is that it was discovered that the spinal surgeon was put on probation after it was discovered that he performed a surgery in 2012 while under the influence of narcotics. Clearly this surgeon has some personal issues that seeped into his work life — but when your work is caring for other people in a medically-sensitive environment, such problems can’t affect your work. No medical professional should be at work while drunk or under the influence of other substances.

A jury found that the surgeon was negligent in this case and deemed his negligence to be a “proximate cause” of the woman’s pain and suffering. The $1.2 million award was split between two forms of compensation: $219,052 for past medical expenses and another $1 million for non-economic damages.

Source: Yakima Herald, “Yakima jury awards $1.2 million to victim of medical malpractice,” Molly Rosbach, Aug. 1, 2017